It’s Pantomime season again and rehearsals are well underway at the New Theatre in Cardiff with Birds of a Feather legend LESLEY JOSEPH leading the cast in this year’s GIANT family pantomime, JAC AND THE BEANSTALK, as The Spirit of the Beans from this Saturday 9th December all the way through to Sunday 7th January next year.

This will come as no surprise, but also a massive sigh of relief, that playing alongside Lesley will be panto Dame extraordinaire MIKE DOYLE, who returns for a tenth consecutive year after a triumphant season last Christmas appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Anyone who seen Mike on the New Theatre stage in Panto knows what a real joy he is for all the family.

We dropped in to rehearsals for our annual Meet The Cast Special. So, let the fantastic team of players tell you what we can expect in this years spectacular show…..


Lesley celebrates a career which has seen her appear on stage in dramas, musicals, and revues in the West End and across the UK and on every major television channel. Lesley starred as Miss Hannigan in Annie, Mrs Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie as well as appearing in Home directed by Peter Hall.

In 2018, she starred in the musical adaptation of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein in London’s West End as Frau Blücher, a role for which she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. No stranger to pantomime, Lesley’s annual panto appearances receive critical acclaim every festive season. Lesley is currently playing the role of Mother Superior in the UK tour of Sister Act. You can check out our review of that show HERE. I can also tell you, Lesley absolutely stole the show when we saw it, a show which has been nominated in this years Olivier Awards.

Lesley played in Snow White at the New Theatre in 2007

Mike has been in show business for 46 years and has performed for 32 years in pantomime. Mike is no stranger to the New Theatre stage having been the regular Dame at the City Centre venue, performing in titles including Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Mike also works on luxury cruise lines such as Cunard, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises, Regent, Seabourn, SilverSea and Viking Line. When on land, Mike tours with his one man show,  and is an in-demand after-dinner speaker and voice-over artist. 

Mike Doyle – (Pic Tim Dickeson)

Also in this years show is leading comedian and impressionist AARON JAMES as Silly Simon, sensational vocalist, and back for a third year, DENQUAR CHUPAK as the Princess, the ultimate panto villain STEVE ARNOTT as Fleshcreep and musical theatre star ADAM BAILEY as Jac.

Jac and the Beanstalk is staged by Crossroads Pantomimes, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, led by Michael Harrison and the creative team behind recent New Theatre successes including last year’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Michael told us……

“Pantomime performers don’t come any greater than Lesley Joseph, so it’s always a privilege to announce where she’ll be performing each year. We’re absolutely thrilled that Lesley has agreed to spend Christmas in our fabulous Cardiff New Theatre production of Jac and the Beanstalk, and I know that there will be GIANT laughter in her company!

Such is the Cardiff audience’s love of Mike Doyle, I’m also delighted to welcome Mike back to the production for a tenth consecutive year as Dame, this year as Jac’s mother, Dame Trot.”

Theatre Director of New Theatre Cardiff, Stephan Stockton told us…..

“We are thrilled to host Wales’ biggest pantomime, and delighted to welcome the legend that is Lesley Joseph (back) to New Theatre Cardiff for the Christmas season. Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without our friend, and Cardiff’s favourite Dame, Mike Doyle. We’re all full of beans waiting for panto season to arrive.

JAC AND THE BEANSTALK begins its spectacular adventure at New Theatre from Saturday 9th December until Sunday 7th January 2024. For more information, or to book, visit HERE.